Misery Loves Company


elisabeth_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Misery Loves Company
Synopsis … or at least appreciates it, when Veronica checks in on Liz to offer condolences and friendship, and in the end, an unlikely duet.
Date January 18, 2010

USS George Washington

You learn the oddest things about aircraft carriers just by being on board one. The impromptu concert that Cat and Liz gave just after Christmas for the crew has garnered them a little bit of a following, so when Elisabeth stops an ensign in the hall to ask if he knows anyone who maybe brought a keyboard on board for the cruise, he does her one better and tells her there's a full upright piano in the chapel. Even tells her how to get there. In truth, Elisabeth wouldn't have thought to go looking for a chapel on board the ship, but hey…. there is one, and it has a piano. Several inquiries on Veronica's part yields her Elisabeth's destination, and as the agent gets close to the place the sounds may give away why the blonde came here. The tail end of the song is trailing from the room accompanied by her voice.

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

The refrain to "Hallelujah" continues, and the voice trails off though the piano doesn't. There are people passing in the hall and pausing to listen, and someone nods to Veronica as she reaches the door.

The brunette agent leans in the hallway on her crutches. She's dressed to accommodate her wound, finding long pants, even loose wounds, irritate her by catching their threads on the bandage wrapped around her thigh — so she's found a pair of work out shorts which don't catch but also don't hide the ugly bandage. On top she wears a plain white-T and both feet are in tennis shoes. She listens, waiting for the song to be over before she enters, cautiously and slowly, with respect for the fact that this is a place of worship.

"You play and sing well," Veronica says quietly to the woman at the piano, as she moves to a pew and shifts from crutches to sitting. Her whiskey-brown eyes are solemn as she watches the blonde, brows knitting with tacit empathy.

Turning on the bench, Elisabeth looks surprised to find Veronica Sawyer. "Thank you," she replies quietly. There's a faint smile. "I found out recently that I've got a music degree to go with it. A minor, at least." She shrugs a little. "It was my fallback when being a cop got hard." She tilts her head and asks, "I assume it wasn't my playing that brought you looking."

Veronica offers a soft smile in response to the one she is given, then shakes her head at the query. "And not religion either. I lack it, but I'm not looking for it, if that's not blasphemous to say in here," she says with a little smile. "I just… wanted to check on you. I know we're not … we don't know each other well, but…" She sighs. Saying you're sorry just doesn't cut it in times like these. "If you want to be alone, I get that and will honor it, but I just wanted to say I'm so very sorry, and that I'm here if you need to talk." Those dark eyes fill with tears that she didn't expect and she looks away, brushing them away quickly.

"I'm not much of one for religion most of the time either," Elisabeth admits quietly. "Was raised Catholic. Occasionally find myself needing… the peace you can find in the church. Not quite what you find here." She glances around. "Honestly, this place is just because they had the piano." Drawing in a deep breath, the blonde blows it out slowly. "Thank you," she finally says, her blue eyes coming back to the agent though they flicker away again when Vee tears up. It's a fragile control Liz has on her own emotional state and that threatens it. "I imagine that…. sort of like I didn't know what to say to you over Kat Marks, you're not entirely sure what to say to me over this." She can't help the soft huff of almost-amusement that comes from her. "Didn't really realize that my relationship was quite so obvious to everyone here. Back home, sure. But…" She shrugs a little, her hands twisting together in her lap absently.

Vee chuckles. "Well, no one really knew Kat and I were as close as we were, either, but somehow they seemed to after the fact," she says quietly. "There really isn't much to say, except that I do know what you're going through, and if you need someone to lean on that's been there, I'm here. And sometimes talking to someone who you don't have to be strong for, that might help." She pauses and glances down at her hands in her lap. "He was probably one of the best men I've ever met, you know. Even before the other day." Before that tremendous sacrifice that saved the world but has left a hole in so many.

There's a moment of surprise. She'd been referring to the fact that Vee and Kat were friends, not more. Elisabeth masks the surprise quickly, though. "I appreciate it, Veronica," she says quietly. And then she looks away again, her lips quirking faintly. "Yeah. He never thought so. Always told me … he wasn't a good man. That he was a bastard. I think the best men I've known have been the ones who … looked at the situation and said 'something needs doing. And if no one else will, I guess I'm stuck with it' and stepped up." Shaking her head a bit. "Covers most of the people I know these days." She looks at Veronica and says quietly, "Including you. I'd take you at my back any day of the week, Vee."

The brunette nods in agreement at the definition of good men. It seems to fit the 'good man' she has waiting back at home, too. "We were lucky to know him. The world was lucky to have him. Otherwise…" she shakes her head at the thought. "Thanks, Liz. Back at you. Funny enough, when I first met you we were working against each other, but turns out we work pretty well together." It's true for quite a few people on this mission. "Glad you were on my team. I'm not sure if our part of the mission actually helped in the fight between Wagner and the others or not, but at least we got those people out of there."

That does bring a smile to Elisabeth's face — a genuine one. "Wasn't working against you even then, Veronica," she says quietly. "I believe in the system. But I'm not blind to the fact that sometimes it fails. When the law hasn't caught up to the reality of the world we live in, I don't see that as an excuse to step on people's liberties." She shrugs a bit. "My dad says I've always been one to step up when things were unfair or needed doing, though. This was… somewhat bigger than I think he ever expected to see me step up and volunteer for." Her eyes skim around the room a bit again. "It kind of sucks, you know. This is the second time in a year a man I love has gone and sacrificed himself on the altar of the Vanguard to save the world." A slight shake of her head. "Karma's a bitch, Fate's a bitch, Life's a bitch…." She looks at Vee and smiles a little. "And so are we, lady. Got my bootstraps on, and I'm gettin' back up. We did good."

Veronica smiles at the sassy attitude from the grieving woman. "You may be a bitch, but you're a class act, Harrison. And your dad should be proud of you," she says with admiration. In an after thought, she adds, "I hope mine is, somewhere."

Pushing away that sentimental thought, Vee tilts her head curiously. "You think this is the end of Vanguard, or are they like cockroaches that keep crawling out of the woodwork when you think you Raided the hell out of the last one?"

"Oh, the whole damn lot of them are definitely cockroaches," Elisabeth snorts in disgust, actually blushing a little at the compliment. "Gray has been dead at least twice before, I think. Danko keeps popping up like a bad penny — although some part of me hopes that Richard put a bullet in his fucking head for me and that at least THAT death is permanent. Wagner, Kazimir…. " She pauses and then admits quietly, "Honestly, Veronica, I don't know what to think. There are some people out there that experience has taught me are not to be underestimated. Those two? Their abilities alone would make me wonder if they could survive even this." She considers. "And shit, woman… even if the Vanguard as an organization itself doesn't survive, the mindset does. Stamping out racism will be an eternal operation — don't even think we'll win that one. There will always be someone who is 'Other.'"

"True," Veronica nods to the last. "And I'm sorry that I've been guilty of it myself. I was young and stupid and blamed my dad's death on a group of people rather than an individual, but people like you, Shade, Gillian — everyone here who's tried to make a difference… obviously I realize how fucking stupid I was." She sighs, and gets up, picking up her crutches and moving toward the piano to stand closer. "It's a strange world. Never underestimate anyone… Somehow Kat came back — did you know that?" she asks curiously.

Elisabeth looks up and nods slightly. "Actually, I did. The Cowboy told me. And she showed up at the wreckage of the Municipal Building to help me dig for people." There's a hesitation. "She's not…. the same. I worry for her. But she seems…. okay." She sighs and shoves her hand through her blond hair as she looks up. "You weren't stupid. Just… grieving," she says simply. "I think… if I had been someone with no powers, I would have stayed far more pissed at the Midtown blast. But I've seen too many people with powers that really and truly are out of their control. Doesn't make me think mandatory Registration is the answer — it makes me think a good education system is. But…. " She shrugs. "I digress. Do you sing?" She turns back to the piano and her hands slide across the keys once more, bringing up a song from her memory. "Hotel California" by the Eagles is always a classic.

The agent nods. Her past prejudice is a heavy black mark on her, in her mind, now that she's seen the pain caused by the hate in person. Her job has usually been to bring in the truly dangerous, but … there might be better ways to do it. "Not particularly well, but I can give it a try," she says, moving from her crutches to the bench beside Liz. It will be a first, no doubt, for the USS George Washington, and perhaps for any of the US fleet, to have a Company agent and a former police officer, soon to be Frontline soldier, singing a classic rock song in the chapel.

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